I think modern medicine, which can now keep people alive pretty much indefinitely, has caused a serious decline in the cremation business. I suspect this because my mom got a post card in the mail from them and decided to find out how much it would cost to get herself cremated. However, she gave them my phone number by accident, so they called me.
Sadly, they actually got Max on the phone. Max does not have polite phone manners. (Not for lack of efforts on my part to improve them) So Max, having gotten a stranger on the phone, grilled the guy and rudely told him he’d got the wrong number. So I grabbed the phone from the kid and tried to sort things out. Which wasn’t easy, actually. First of all, I thought the guy must be calling from Santa Rosa which is the only place I’ve seen the Neptune Society before. I didn’t realize all crematoriums are called The Neptune Society. Naturally I was suspicious of the pink crematorium in Santa Rosa calling my mother. Had someone died that I wasn’t aware of? All the guy wanted was to talk to my mom. I told him he had the wrong number but that she lives downstairs and I would give her a message that he called and give him her actual phone number.
All squared. You’d think. My mother, apparently, though curious to find out how much we’ll be set back when it comes time to burn her, wasn’t curious enough to want to actually talk to them. So when he called her, she just let him leave messages. Apparently, he’s been trying to get hold of her for over a week and was tired of getting the grand brush-off.
Cause this morning he showed up at my door with no appointment or invitation. If you’ve been to my house or seen pictures of our curious set-up, you’d know that to get to our front door you have to enter the metal ghetto gate behind which there lives a dog with serious teeth. Most sane people who don’t know us or our dog hear Chick’s crazed barking and see her gnashing large teeth dripping with eager saliva and they will not enter the ghetto gate unless I come and get them and escort them in. A person who is invited through the gate is an instant object of love and fascination for Chick but a person who is uninvited and unknown is lunch-meat. What kind of person ignores the scary black angry dog and just stands there at a door with no doorbell at a house they weren’t invited to and whose residents haven’t answered his calls for a week? A dumb-ass.
I got Chick into the house because even as I stumbled onto the porch in my gorgeous pyjamas she made a lunge for the Neptune guy’s leg. It is very fortunate for us and possible future legal issues that she did not actually bite him. I turned to the guy and I said it was not very smart to enter a gate to a house where a dog is showing clear signs of wanting to attack you. He defended this assitude by explaining that there didn’t seem to be any other way to get in. I confirmed this. I told him that people who aren’t invited to our house never come in the gate. I realize this was a surly way to treat him but after staying up late last night and trying to sleep in I was not happy to be woken at 9:30 in the morning by a man who just couldn’t wait to tell my mom how much it will cost to get herself cremated.
It actually took me a minute to sort out who he was and why he was there on my porch not noticing the attack dog lunging at him. He was there to see my mom. I asked him if he had an appointment with her. He said no, because he’s been calling and calling and she never returns his calls so he came to talk to her in person. Most people who try to call other people and never get a response take it as a sign that the person they’re trying to reach isn’t all that into being reached and will give up. What business sends a henchman to make home calls when potential customers decide not to return your calls?
The Neptune Society does.
My mom, who was also sleeping (she is often sleeping at that time because she wakes up at ungodly hours of the morning unable to go back to sleep, sleep issues run family-wide here) and she told me to tell him to go away. So I had the happy job of telling the idiot that next time he should not make house calls without appointments. He kept waving a piece of paper at me in explanation and saying “but she wouldn’t answer my calls”. Take a hint, dude, take a big hint and run with it. No one wants uninvited house calls from the crematorium. No one wants to know what it’s going to cost to be crisped THAT URGENTLY. Just assume that if a potential customer doesn’t return your calls, they aren’t motivated to give you any business. It’s a big clue.
If, or rather – when, we need to cremate someone, you can be sure we’ll follow through with our calls. Now I’m wondering if there are any crematoriums other than the Neptune Society? I’m not keen to be toasted by dumb-asses.
Today’s major task: buy a “beware of dog” sign for the ghetto gate.
So that’s my morning, how’s yours?